Wednesday, 7 November 2018


Stefan Pierer backs FIM “We, The Riders” campaign

Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM AG and President of the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM), participated in August at the launch of FIM’s global road safety campaign “We, The Riders”. 

The launch took place on the occasion of the Austrian round of the 2018 FIM MotoGP World Championship at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg.
With the support of ACEM, the European Commission, Dorna, the Red Bull Ring circuit and MotoGP stars Andrea Iannone (Italy), Marc Márquez (Spain), Jack Miller (Australia), Jorge Lorenzo (Spain) and Johann Zarco (France), the FIM said it was “looking forward to raising the awareness of road safety through the launch of this campaign in front of recognised international media and a large, passionate audience of fans.
“The campaign is a call to action, a new movement of responsible motorcyclists from around the world, who all share the joy of riding, and the fight for change. In 2018, it is still far more dangerous than it should be to ride on our roads. That needs to change – and it will only change if all motorcyclists come together as never before to demand it.”
Stefan Pierer explained: “As President of the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, I reaffirm that for all leading manufacturers and member associations the most important issue is safety.
“Motorcycle riders are vulnerable road users. According to official statistics, 50% of the fatalities are caused by a third party, and the biggest problem is visibility. That’s why every action and initiative that improves visibility is supported by the industry.
“Manufacturers in Europe have shown themselves ready to implement fundamental safety tools to save lives, such as when ABS became mandatory. Road design, architecture and furniture are also vital contributors to safety, as are all ways of improving rider visibility to other road users”.
The vision for “We, The Riders” is to lobby for roads that are safe for everyone - “roads where all are seen, no matter their mode of transport. Roads that are built and planned with everyone in mind. Roads made for the joy of riding – not the fear of crashing”. The FIM says it will deploy the “We, The Riders” campaign through its 113 affiliated federations worldwide
Vito Ippolito, FIM President, declared “for more than 100 years, the FIM has been representing the interests of motorcyclists, both on and off the track. Every day, road traffic crashes claim nearly 3,500 lives and injure many thousands more, 23% of all lives lost are those of our fellow riders.
“At the FIM we do not have all the answers and there is still much left to do. That is why we are launching the movement “We the riders” because we recognise the potential of people-powered change – the power of a network of individuals with something in common to create real change in the world and improve road safety”.
Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna CEO, commented: “Riders’ safety on and off the track is our top priority, so Dorna is extremely proud to support this important initiative. The ‘We, The Riders’ campaign is about raising awareness among all road users to be mindful of everybody they share the roads with”.

Biz Briefs

B&B reports that data from the KBA in Germany shows the number of motorcycles registered in Germany as of 1 January 2018 reached 4,372,978 units, a record high number. Said to have increased by 1.4% in the prior 12 months, 79.9% are over 125 cc, with 13.3% owned by women. Bavaria records the most (926,882), followed by North Rhine-Westphalia (833,009), Baden-Württemberg (675,708), Lower Saxony (418,922) and Hessen (330,822).

B&B also reports the KBA data saying that as of 1 January 2018, there are 538,029 BMW motorcycles registered in Germany, followed by 519,215 Yamaha, 503,310 Suzuki, 427,352 Honda and 354,396 Kawasaki motorcycles.

Global demand for motorcycles is projected to expand by +4.4% per year through 2022, according to The report concludes that advances at the global level will be supported by rising personal incomes in developing nations, the introduction of new top-of-the-line models in mature markets, and the growing use of motorcycles for business and recreation purposes. Rapidly increasing demand for e-bikes will provide the impetus for much of the growth in the US, Europe, and many Asia/Pacific markets.

Texas based Simpson Performance Products is pleased to announce the acquisition of Merelli Compositi, a high-quality Italian manufacturer of carbon parts, by Simpson subsidiary Stilo Helmets.  Merelli produces carbon shells for Stilo Helmets and many other carbon performance products, including ski components and ski boots. Merelli has recently moved into a new, larger facility in Onore, Italy, to meet increasing production demands. The Simpson group claims it sells more carbon helmets than any other business.

Salvatore Coniglio (50) is the new head of export sales at German oil specialist Liqui Moly. He succeeds CEO Ernst Prost, having previously been deputy export sales manager.


Honda global motorcycle sales +11.4% units for Q1

For the first quarter of its 2018 to 2019 financial year (the three months to June 30), Honda has announced consolidated motorcycle sales of 3,615,000 units; up by 11.4 percent (370,000 units) from the first quarter fiscal 2017/2018.

Their total corporate sales revenue (including automotive and Power Products) was up by over 311bn yen for the period (+8.38 percent) at 4,024.1bn yen; operating profit was up by 30.1bn yen (+11.2%) and attributing profit for the period was up by 37bn yen after taxes (+17.85%) at 244.3bn yen.
Honda Group unit sales (motorcycles, ATV and SxS) were +653,000 units for the first quarter (+13.9%) with 80,000 sold in Europe, 72,000 sold in north America and 49,000 in Japan (4,840,000 were sold in Asia, 311,000 in other regions).
Motorcycle sales revenue was 554.9bn yen (+9.1%); operating profit margin was 16.6% at 92.1bn yen. Overall corporate operating profit margin was up by +5.7% in Europe to 7bn yen.

UK motorcycle registrations

UK motorcycle registrations +3.73 percent YTD to August

The latest data from the MCIA (the Motorcycle Industry Association) shows motorcycle registrations in the UK at +11.68 percent (6,924 units) for August, having been -0.28 percent (8,967 units) for July and running at +3.73 percent YTD (70,875 units).

The UK moped market continues to be down at -21.66 percent YTD (3,426 units), with total PTW registrations running at +2.20 percent YTD (74,301 units).
All sectors of the UK market are up except for the Adventure Sport market, which is flat YTD at -0.5% (12,668 units), and the traditionally strong Supersport market, which continues its decline in the UK, down by -6.2% YTD at 5,951 units.
The largest sector is the traditionally styled (or ‘Naked’ style) market at 24,105 units YTD (+10%), with the scooter market up by 4.3% at 13,117 units.


Polini – mufflers, ignition, discs and grips

Euro 4 homologated mufflers

Italian performance and accessory specialist Polini Motori has new Euro 4 homologated mufflers with aluminium end caps and a carbon look graphic for selected Yamaha Maxi Scooters - the X-Max 125i, 300i and 400i and the N Max 125/155i.
Featuring contemporary styling, Polini says they are “very reliable” with “increased power that delivers optimal performance with improved throttle response and pick-up. The sound is “gritty” but padded thanks to the tested deadening material which maintains the noise within legal limits”.

Brake discs for scooters 

Also seen here, Polini has a complete range of brake discs for scooters and 50 cc machines that includes 25 different discs from 180 mm to 300 mm.
Laser-cut, CNC machined and finished, using highly corrosion resistant thermally treated AIS 1420 stainless steel, they are said to “provide greater readiness when braking, the lower weight of Polini brake disc designs improve vehicle handling, braking performance and modulation in all driving conditions, including in extreme or urgent braking situations.
“The heat dissipation during braking is quicker thanks to the design of the external perimeter and ventilation holes, controlling the thermal expansion at high temperatures. Our discs are performance matched to our brake pads, with both available at an excellent quality-price ratio.

Digital ignition kit

Polini is also offering a digital ignition kit with internal rotor for the Vespa 50 PK – Special and Primavera 125 – ET3/PK/XL.
The kit includes a gear box support, stator and rotor, and a coil with CDI is provided with the ignition map for the electronic advance. The set-up is said to be very straightforward and enables mechanical adjustment.
This new ignition with internal rotor and adjustable advance can be installed on engines that reach 20,000 rpm. The Polini kit is said to be the most advanced set of electronic technology designed for track race applications, deactivating the scooter’s on-board electrical ignition system. The kits include a set-up advance table and power is said to be increased throughout the rpm range.

Evolution grips

Finally, these Polini evolution grips have been developed with ergonomics and safety in mind and are made with aerospace developed elastomers and techno polymers of aerospace origin.
The anti-slip outside surface of the updated style combines two different surfaces - one smoother, for palm comfort, the other specifically for improved and effective finger grip. The ribbed hand cover flange prevents the hand from slipping and neutralises vibrations.


Cross-Center International

OEM style replacement MX brake discs

There is more to Swedish off-road wheels specialist Cross-Center International than having “the strongest stainless steel motocross, street, off-road and vintage spokes”, such as model-specific rims, hubs, complete wheels and, as seen here, recent and late model MX brake discs.
“We are a true one-stop shop for MX wheels and components for most models for nearly all years,” says owner Torbjoern Bergh. “We also manufacture our brake discs in-house from genuine high-grade Swedish steel. Customers who have tried to source MX brake discs elsewhere, especially for the older bikes, tell us ours is the largest available range in the world.”

In fact, there are those who think that the high level of interest in vintage motocross at this time is doing much to sustain and fuel the late model market, and as a complete front wheel and component specialist, Tobbe says he has seen the strong growth in the vintage market in recent years.
“Vintage MX is over 50 percent of the sales here in Sweden, and our export orders suggest the same is happening around the world. The enthusiasm for vintage is massive”.
Tobbe is a bit of a purist when it comes to brake discs, believing that a lot of the current design tweaks on the market “sell well because they may look good, but are often a step backwards when it comes to braking power, reliability and disc and pad wear.
“There are many claims out there, especially when it comes to heat management, that just aren’t justifiable. Which is why we mostly make OEM style discs, and they sell and perform best in our experience. Sometimes we are able to add certain improvements and refinements, but we think that a round brake disc with a lot of material and large, straight arms, an inner ring and no floating rivets is by far the best performing, most reliable, durable and economic brake disc.

“Modern brake pad compounds and manufacturing techniques are so good now that many of the old issues and preconceptions about how to get the best out of a pad are no longer relevant – especially where the effects of gasses are concerned. The result is that some of the designs that are currently fashionable can actually reduce the life and performance of the pad, as well as the disc”.
The Cross-Center range is indeed comprehensive, with new discs being tooled each time the manufacturer design changes. This means that for Honda models, for example, the company offers four different designs with M6 bolts for fronts from 1997 and up (and two M8 bolt fitments) that all have the same measurements all the way up to 2018 (2008 being a one-off exception). “The same applies to many other brands and models, though other manufacturers have been more consistent with their designs in the last 20 years, generally with one design for ‘97-‘01 and one for ‘02-‘19”.



‘Anti-Hopping’ clutch kit for
Yamaha 250 4t

Italian specialist Surflex has developed a complete anti-hopping clutch kit upgrade for Yamaha 250 4t cross-enduro that is said to be higher quality and deliver better performance than the OE original it replaces.

Delivered fully assembled with wear resistant and friction reducing coating, it has an inner brake drum made in Ergal that is equipped with an anti-hopping device, trimmed discs, steel discs, springs and Ergal disc pushers.
Developed from their MX, Enduro and Supermotard race experience, the ‘anti-hopping’ device is designed to handle the rapid and aggressive deceleration that occurs when strong braking is required and the effect this can have on the rear wheel, forcing it to ‘hop’, and the grip loss this generates.
The disc pusher moving in the device takes some charge and energy off the springs and creates a temporary clutch sliding, meaning the rider can keep the bike steady, maintain precision steering in a bend and avoid any change in trajectory created by rear wheel ‘hopping’ or vibrations – improving road holding and safety.
The nine trimmed discs which compose the clutch are covered with special materials for off-road competitions. The reduced coefficient of friction is said to result in improved tyre stability and excellent resistance to high temperature and abrasion in the clutch.
The improvement in transmission of engine power to the rear tyre and surface means reduced loss of power and stability. The complete kit is an easy install and comes with variable response springs to cater for different demands.


CeraCarbon Racing

CeraCarbon high strength USD fork tubes

Based at Stein in the Netherlands, CeraCarbon Racing is introducing what owner Hans-Dieter Fischer describes as a patented and “truly innovative first” in motorcycle front fork design - combination ceramic and carbon fibre upside down front fork tubes.

“The advantages of USD front suspensions have been well known for years, but while they are typically lighter than conventional forks, race bikes especially would always have liked to see them lighter still. We are now able to use all the advantages of the USD system and eliminate even more of the weight, liberating the performance and handling advantages of the USD design.
“Our CeraCarbon front fork inner and outer tubes combine light weight with reliable strength and low friction into an ultimate solution”.
A front fork applying CeraCarbon inner and outer tubes is more than 2 kg lighter than a conventional front fork with steel and Aluminum inner and outer tubes. The weight saving is mainly “unsprung weight which results in much better handling and rideability, resulting in faster track times”. The CeraCarbon inner tube is an all-purpose application suitable for most front forks that can be installed with most aftermarket cartridge systems.
Inverted forks are exponentially more rigid because they mount the larger diameter “slider” to the triple tree. Conventional forks mount to the triple tree via the smaller and heavier steel fork tube. The much more rigid (compared to a steel fork tube) slider makes up a higher percentage of the overall length in an inverted front end.
This design benefit reduces flex and improves handling and feel when compared to a conventional design. Inverted forks are stronger because they have more overlap than conventional forks – the distance the fork tube protrudes into the slider. The more overlap, the more rigid the front fork assembly.
Conventional inverted front forks have one disadvantage - because the steel tubes are on the downside the unsprung weight is higher. This problem is now solved by CeraCarbon by replacing the heavy steel tubes with CeraCarbon Carbon- Ceramic tubes.